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Can You Forgive Her? (Vintage Classics) by…
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Can You Forgive Her? (Vintage Classics) (edition 2012)

by Anthony Trollope, D. J. Taylor (Introduction)

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1,566404,674 (4.04)2 / 281
Member:Limelite
Title:Can You Forgive Her? (Vintage Classics)
Authors:Anthony Trollope
Other authors:D. J. Taylor (Introduction)
Info:Random House UK (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 770 pages
Collections:e-Books, Your library, Favorites
Rating:*****
Tags:Fiction, literature, classic, political fiction

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Can You Forgive Her? by Anthony Trollope

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Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
Oh noes! I loved this book, my first Trollope, and his works are like 900 pages each and overfilled with 1830's type language and he's not too fond of women. What's a reader to do? Can I forgive him? ( )
  froxgirl | Apr 27, 2016 |
Excellent book about middle to upper class England in the 1860s. Some are rich, some are titled, others are younger sons and thus penniless, still others have worked for their money and become wealthy through industry or farming (can the earned rich and the inherited rich mix?). Some are in the House of Commons, others want to be (or don't want to be!). So many are living beyond their means, trying to keep up with their wealthy relatives.

And there is Alice Vavasor, getting old to be single. She has two prospects in marriage: her cousin George, who by primogeniture is the heir of their grandfather. Or, Mr John Grey of Nethercoats near Ely. Who will it be?

Can George forgive Alice?
Can John Grey forgive Alice?
Can her father forgive Alice?
Can Alice forgive her cousin/friend Kate?
Can Alice forgive her relative Lady Midlothian?
Can Mr Cheesacre forgive Mrs Greenow?
Can Plantagent Palliser forgive his wife, Lady Glencora?
Can the reader forgive any of them?

And the ladies aren't the only ones behaving badly.

*Mr Grey lives near Ely, and catches the train there. I have taken the train to and from Ely. When this book was written and when it takes place, my 3rdgreat grandfather was still living in Welches Dam outside Ely. He could see the cathedral every day. Also, having been an agricultural laborer his entire life, he did not live in a home like Nethercoats. Welches Dam is best known for an 1849 cholera outbreak, due to poor living condition. ( )
  Dreesie | Apr 12, 2016 |
It’s been a year since I finished Anthony Trollope’s Chronicles of Barsetshire, and it was such a joy to return to his depiction of Victorian England in The Pallisers. In Can You Forgive Her?, Trollope shows the good, bad, and ugly of marriage through three different situations. Young Alice Vavasor, egged on by her cousin Kate, breaks off her engagement to John Grey in favor of Kate’s brother George. Lady Glencora “Cora” Palliser was recently forced by her family to break off a relationship with handsome, dashing Burgo Fitzgerald, to marry the prosperous and ambitious Plantagenet Palliser. Her comfortable lifestyle can’t make up for a dull and so far childless relationship. Finally, the widow Arabella Greenow toys with two different suitors and provides comic relief in the novel.

Alice’s reputation is sorely damaged, yet she remains oblivious to this and insists on providing financial support to George as he runs for parliament, even though they are not yet married, the sums are significant, and he proves himself to be a cad of the highest order. John Grey, meanwhile, is never far away and continues to have feelings for Alice. Cora finds solace in friendship with Alice as her husband largely ignores her and enlists others to keep Cora in check as he focuses on his work.

In an unusual move for the time, the story is told almost entirely from a female perspective. The women are strong characters with money and opinions of their own. However, Trollope cannot envision a world free from Victorian conventions, so naturally the only successful outcomes involve marriage. Still, I can forgive Trollope for being a product of his time, and I can forgive the eponymous heroines whose actions, both scandalous and annoying, made for a very good story. ( )
2 vote lauralkeet | Mar 4, 2016 |
This is the first novel in the Palliser series, and it's about as Victorian as you get. Sexist, classist, racist, peopled with ridiculous characters that are mere caricatures, replete with plot twists that make no sense and social mores that are laughable. Trollope would never write one sentence when he could write a chapter, and never write a chapter when he could write another 50 pages. At 850 pages of very small type, one might assume that some action takes place, or that at least one character might achieve at least two dimensionality, but one would be wrong. Nevertheless, I had a great time reading this novel (though I don't intend to read the other 5 of the series).
( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Written in 1864, this is a wonderful view into the lives of the British lower aristocracy, or gentry, and how they relate to their cousins "born to the purple." A book of manners, with insight into the hearts, minds and motivations of the people of its time and place. The story centers around Alice, a woman of twenty-five, and her delicate sensibilities in regards to marriage. Since she is a woman who cannot make up her mind, and as soon as she does, she doubts her decision, there is a decided flavor of suspense.

Trollope is one of my favorite writers of his period. He takes us deep into the characters, and helps us to see them from several directions at once. He shows us not only the surface action and dialog, but the inner dialog and the objective view as well. He does this with a gentle sense of humor, seeing the ridiculous when we take ourselves too seriously.

All that being said, I'm afraid I haven't the patience for long absorbing reads any more. I ended up skimming many of the scenes which were not focused on the characters I cared about. By the end of the story, I did not care much for any of the women in it. Probably a fault of the time it was written in and what was expected of women then. I wish I knew how women received this story when it was written. Not one of these women seemed to have a lick of common sense. They were ready to throw away all they had without thought of their future on the romantic idea of helping the user men around them. I hope, I really hope that has changed, although I am afraid it is a trait of women to want to "save" men. ( )
1 vote MrsLee | Feb 12, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anthony Trollopeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bayley, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Birch, DinahIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Skilton, DavidIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
West, TimothyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Whether or no, she, whom you are to forgive, if you can, did or did not belong to the Upper Ten Thousand of this our English world, I am not prepared to say with any strength of affirmation.
Quotations
She wanted the little daily assurance of her supremacy in the man's feelings, the constant touch of love, half accidental half contrived, the passing glance of the eye telling perhaps of some little joke understood only between them two rather than of love, the softness of an occasional kiss given here and there when chance might bring them together, some half-pretended interest in her little doings, a nod, a wink, a shake of the head, or even a pout. It should have been given to her to feed upon such food as this daily, and then she would have forgotten Burgo Fitzgerald.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140430865, Paperback)

The first novel in Anthony Trollope's "Palliser" series, "Can You Forgive Her?" traces the fortunes of three very different women in an exploration of whether social obligations and personal happiness can ever coincide. This "Penguin Classics" edition is edited with an introduction by Stephen Wall. Alice Vavasor cannot decide whether to marry her ambitious but violent cousin George or the upright and gentlemanly John Grey - and finds herself accepting and rejecting each of them in turn. Increasingly confused about her own feelings and unable to forgive herself for such vacillation, her situation is contrasted with that of her friend Lady Glencora - forced to marry the rising politician Plantagenet Palliser in order to prevent the worthless Burgo Fitzgerald from wasting her vast fortune. In asking his readers to pardon Alice for her transgression of the Victorian moral code, Trollope created a telling and wide-ranging account of the social world of his day. In his introduction, Stephen Wall examines Trollope's skill in depicting the strengths and weaknesses of his characters, their behaviour and inner lives. This edition also includes notes and a bibliography. Anthony Trollope (1815-82) had an unhappy childhood characterised by a stark contrast between his family's high social standing and their comparative poverty. He wrote his earliest novels while working as a Post Office inspector, but did not meet with success until the publication of the first of his 'Barsetshire novels', "The Warden" (1855). As well as writing over forty novels, including such popular works as "Can You Forgive Her?" (1865), "Phineas Finn" (1869), "He Knew He Was Right" (1869) and "The Way We Live Now" (1875) Trollope is credited with introducing the postbox to England. If you enjoyed "Can You Forgive Her?", you might enjoy Henry James' "The Ambassadors", also available in "Penguin Classics".

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:15 -0400)

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CAN YOU FORGIVE HER? is the first of the six Palliser novels. In this volume Trollope examines parliamentary election and marriage, politics and privacy. He dissects the Victorian upper class. Issues and people shed their pretenses under his patient, ironic probe. But it is on women and their predicament that Trollope particularly focuses. "What should a woman do with her life?" asks Alice Vavasor. And each woman, being different and unique, has her own answer, from the uncomfortably married Lady Glencora to the coquettish Mrs. Greenow, to Alice's clear-headed cousin Kate.… (more)

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